Speakeasy’s have been making a surge as of late, with many popping up around the city over the past years. In Highland Park, Blind Barber is among the newest additions to the scene; and definitely the most unique. Having been at a soft open for several weeks, the barber shop/bar hybrid is set to make it’s full, grand opening on Friday, March 2nd.
Originally opened in Tompkins Square Park, New York in 2010, Blind Barber quickly became a hipster haven for fresh cuts and stiffly poured drinks. The brand has since expanded to include two other New York locations, a location in Chicago, and their first venture in Los Angeles out in Culver City.
Blind Barber’s Los Angeles Based owners Josh Boyd and Jeff Laub have always opted for areas to open up shop where there was a true sense of community. The iconic Frank’s Camera Shop building on Figueroa Street serves as the perfect setting for the duo to expand their brand.
The creativity and vibrancy of the neighborhood seems like it will mesh well with the vibes Blind Barber exudes.
The design of the barber shop and bar portions vary both in lighting and texture elements, yet come are a cohesive mix.
Open at 11am everyday, the barber shop was designed to update the space while maintaining the beauty and historic feel of what came before. Three chairs line the right wall, and a spacious 20-foot ceiling allows for sunlight to enter through the two-stories worth of windows lining Figueroa. The original tin ceiling has been restored, while matte-white tile soft reflect the sunlight around the room. Black Belmont barber chairs designed in 1950’s provide a nice bit of contrast to the light in the room, while plants tucked away in the corners break up the white even further.
The back room speakeasy’s design inspiration stems from the home of Burt Reynold’s character Jack from the film Boogie Nights. Walking into the space feels like you’ve been transported into the hippest drinking den from the late 70’s. Wood panels line some of the walls, while the open-faced brick is visible in other areas. Cozy booths line one end of the back room, while vintage couches, coffee tables and chairs create a living room feel in other parts of the space. The lighting is a perfectly dim, yellow light; perfect to lounge around and have a chat in.
Ten variations of grilled cheese sandwiches highlight the food offerings at Blind Barber. Chef Ted Hirsh concocted unique flavor pairings for the sandwiches on the menu, including: Taleggio cheese, aged parmesan, Shiitake and Crimini mushrooms, with truffle oil; Mozzarella, parmesan, pistachio pesto and cherry tomatoes; Brie, parmesan and Haas avocados.
The drink menu consists of a short, but solid list of beers, house cocktails, and seasonal cocktails.
Classics on the menu include Sweeny Ted; Larceny bourbon, lemon, honey, egg white and Peychaud bitters. Also, the North Figueroa; Ilegal mezcal, orange, lime, habanero, agave and chili salt. As well as the Hot Heather; Milagro silver tequila, lemon, amber agave, grapefruit, pineapple and ginger.
Seasonal cocktails include Gorges Borges; Ford’s gin, Leopold Bros. cranberry liqueur, lemon, elderflower and rosemary. The In The Loop; Mt. Gay Black Barrel rum, Velvet Falernum, lime, maple and nutmeg. Also, the Michele, Ma Belle; Monkey Shoulder whiskey, apple infused pisco, lemon, spiced syrup and blackberry jam.